JIS News

The St. Mary Health Department is carrying out a public education drive aimed at reducing the incidence of leptospirosis in the parish.
Health Educator for the St. Mary Health Department, Mr. Riquel Barclay, told JIS News that the programme involves the distribution of information flyers and the staging of health education sessions on prevention measures.
He said that a ‘Health Belief Model’ is being employed, which focusses on the attitudes and beliefs of individuals in disease prevention.
Residents are urged to employ good hygiene practices and proper garbage disposal habits in the home and wider community.
The education sessions began in Port Maria on Wednesday, October 7, and will continue at Highgate on Tuesday, October 13; Oracabessa on Wednesday, October 14; Castleton on Thursday, October 15; Islington on Tuesday, October 20, and Jeffery Town on Thursday, October 22.
Mr. Barclay informed that the St. Mary Health Department will also be implementing a rat baiting programme in Port Maria and Annotto Bay to strengthen the drive.
In urging the people of the targeted communities to give full support to the education sessions, he said that the opportunity will be used to carry out health checks, including tests for blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease that is endemic worldwide with a higher incidence in tropical countries.
Humans may be infected through direct contact with urine or fluid of infected animals or through contact with contaminated water or soil.

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